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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Vermeil pays visit, brings good karma

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Tuesday, Aug. 12 2008
    MEQUON, WIS. — Since he left coaching — for good, this time — after the 2005
    season with Kansas City, Dick Vermeil hasn't been to an NFL game. (Other than a
    couple he worked for the NFL Network in 2006.)

    He has stayed away from NFL training camps, even though he has gotten several
    invitations.

    "I just try and stay away, especially from places that I've coached," Vermeil
    said Monday.

    But not only did Vermeil accept Scott Linehan's invitation to visit Rams camp
    at Concordia University Wisconsin, he arrived Sunday wearing a prop — the
    larger-than-life Super Bowl championship ring from that magical 1999 season
    with the Rams.

    "I don't wear it much at all anymore," Vermeil, 71, said. "First off, at home
    it gets in the way."

    That's because Vermeil's always doing some kind of chore on his 114-acre ranch
    outside Philadelphia.

    "I can put a chainsaw in my hand anytime I want, I'll find something to do,"
    Vermeil said.

    But he purposely brought the ring with him to Rams camp.

    "Because you look at it, it's a great symbol of so many wonderful things that
    happen," Vermeil said. "I wanted the 'kids' here to see that the Rams — there's
    people in this building — that know how to do it. They've already done it."

    Vermeil did it under the most improbable of circumstances as coach of the Rams.
    The team had endured nine straight losing seasons, including records of 5-11
    and 4-12 in Vermeil's first two seasons in St. Louis, before the amazing '99
    turnaround.

    In inviting him to Concordia, Linehan hopes Vermeil can sprinkle some of that
    '99 magic dust on the '08 Rams.

    "I was glad he was able to make it," Linehan said. "I told him I'd like him to
    come, spend a couple days, visit ... kind of pick his brain about '99. Every
    year's different, but as coaches, we've all got to kind of stick together
    because you have those up waves and those down waves."

    When Vermeil arrived at Milwaukee's General Mitchell International Airport, he
    was greeted by none other than D'Marco Farr, one of the starting defensive
    tackles on the Super Bowl XXXIV championship squad.

    "They didn't tell me he was coming to pick me up," Vermeil said. "I look out
    there and he's standing there. He's such a special piece of work."

    Farr, who does radio and television work for the Rams, has been with the team
    throughout camp and drove Vermeil from the airport to Concordia. At dinner time
    Sunday night, the hug-a-thon began in the university cafeteria as Vermeil
    greeted one old friend after another:

    Quarterback Trent Green ... offensive tackle Orlando Pace ... defensive end
    Leonard Little ... offensive coordinator Al Saunders ... quarterbacks coach
    Terry Shea ... pro scout Ray Agnew (the other starting defensive tackle on the
    '99 squad) ... and on and on.

    "Hey, just being around here, I miss it," Vermeil said. "I don't miss the days
    I got my (butt) beat. I don't miss the days I worried about some guy holding
    out. I don't miss the days walking off with some guy who had a serious knee
    (injury). But I miss all the other things. I miss the coaches. And I miss the
    players."

    Later Sunday night, Vermeil spent some quality time with Linehan and Jay
    Zygmunt, the Rams' president of football operations-general manager.

    "He and I and Jay sat and solved all the problems of the world till about 1
    o'clock this morning," Vermeil said. "I forgot how much fun it is to sit with
    football people and talk football."

    Vermeil watched practice Monday afternoon and then addressed the team Monday
    night.

    "I'm honored that Scott wants me to talk to the team for a while," Vermeil said
    before his speech. "I'm starting to mill some thoughts through my mind, because
    they are right now where we were. We had four wins (in '98); they had three (in
    '07)."

    At each of his three NFL head-coaching spots, Vermeil experienced a
    breakthrough season in Year 3.

    "For me, it's always been the third year," Vermeil said. "Philadelphia, we went
    9-7 after two years. Here, we won the world championship in my third. In Kansas
    City, we went 13-3 and got beat in the playoffs the third year."

    Of course, this is Linehan's third year with the Rams after records of 8-8 in
    2006 and 3-13 last season.

    "Everyone's got to do it his own way, with his own philosophy," Vermeil said.
    "I'm no expert. But the only thing I talked about (with Linehan) is what I
    believe in.

    "I'm pulling for him. Last year was a tough year, but sometimes you come out of
    a tough year better off for having the experience, too. He's a quality guy.
    He's a good coach. You want him to succeed."

    By sheer force of personality, Vermeil is the type of person who knows a lot of
    people and has a lot of friends. Linehan wouldn't qualify as one of his close
    friends, but Vermeil knows him and respects him.

    "I coached against him when he was at Minnesota, and I practiced against him
    when I was with the Chiefs," Vermeil said. "We'd go spend two days working
    against Minnesota (during camp). So I watched him coach and work with the
    offense, and he did a marvelous job. I like him a lot."

    Seemingly at peace in retirement, Vermeil does six to 10 speaking engagements a
    year, is on the board of directors of two companies, and is in the wine
    business. The OnThEdge winery in Napa Valley, Calif., produces a couple of
    hundred cases of Jean Louis Vermeil cabernet a year. The wine is named for
    Vermeil's great-great grandfather.

    Vermeil, who grew up working on cars, also is restoring a 1926 race car owned
    and driven by his father, Louis Vermeil.

    "Retiring doesn't mean you're not doing anything," Vermeil said.

    It has been nine years since that Super Bowl triumph, and five years since the
    Rams last enjoyed a winning season. Nonetheless, Vermeil sees no reason happy
    days can't return for the franchise.

    "It's a cycle," he said. "They can get it going again here. Scott can get it
    going here."


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Vermeil pays visit, brings good karma

    When Vermeil addressed the team. I wonder what he had to say?

    Has to be tough to motivate a team that was 3-13 last season and starts out the preseason with an ugly loss.

  3. #3
    GreatestShow99's Avatar
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    Re: Vermeil pays visit, brings good karma

    Just further proof that Linehan has no business being an NFL head coach.

  4. #4
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    Re: Vermeil pays visit, brings good karma

    I always rooted for Vermeil- even after the first two bad seasons because I had faith that he could turn it around. I don't have that same faith in Linehan.

  5. #5
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    Re: Vermeil pays visit, brings good karma

    A nice gesture by Linehan but maybe a bad decision. I don't see the benefit of blatantly illustrating to the team how someone else did it better. It also seems to me, and this could just be my impression, that it's never a good sign for a team when a motivational speaker is brought in. It always seems like a last ditch effort of a coach who knows he's on a sinking ship.

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    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Vermeil pays visit, brings good karma

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman View Post
    A nice gesture by Linehan but maybe a bad decision. I don't see the benefit of blatantly illustrating to the team how someone else did it better. It also seems to me, and this could just be my impression, that it's never a good sign for a team when a motivational speaker is brought in. It always seems like a last ditch effort of a coach who knows he's on a sinking ship.
    I respectfully disagree. My guess is that the majority if not all of the teams in the NFL bring in motivational speakers.

    EX:

    MAGIC JOHNSON was brought into the Cowboys camp this year to give his motivational whatever.

  7. #7
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    Re: Vermeil pays visit, brings good karma

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman View Post
    It also seems to me, and this could just be my impression, that it's never a good sign for a team when a motivational speaker is brought in. It always seems like a last ditch effort of a coach who knows he's on a sinking ship.
    You might be right, but it looks like Linehan has been trying to get Vermeil to visit training camp long before the ship started sinking. From an AP article:

    For the better part of the past two years, Linehan has attempted to find a way to get former Rams coach Dick Vermeil to come to his team's training camp. Linehan finally got one of the game's finest motivators to give in.

  8. #8
    moklerman's Avatar
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    Re: Vermeil pays visit, brings good karma

    Well, hopefully I'm wrong. Any time I've ever taken notice of something like this though, the proverbial wheels came off soon after.

  9. #9
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    Re: Vermeil pays visit, brings good karma

    Later Sunday night, Vermeil spent some quality time with Linehan and Jay
    Zygmunt, the Rams' president of football operations-general manager.

    "He and I and Jay sat and solved all the problems of the world till about 1
    o'clock this morning," Vermeil said. "I forgot how much fun it is to sit with
    football people and talk football."


    I think it is just GREAT!! to have vermeil giving his input on this team by speaking to jay and linehan and the players vermeil knows how it is supposed to be done as a headcoach to make a team better he can stay around as long as he wants i know he is telling both jay and linehan if they are gonna contend for the NFC West crown this rams offense better be top 10 atleast lets hope saunders has some martz magic in him
    Torry Holt Dont play that

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